by William Skink
Media is changing in Montana, and that should make the corporate executives at Iowa-based Lee Enterprises nervous.
Last Best News–a for-profit online alternative to corporate crap–took a recent look at these changes with 3 cheers for the state’s growing online news, highlighting the efforts of John Adams news venture, The Montana Free Press, and Martin Kidston’s Missoula Current.
These new news efforts are important and timely as executives at Lee Enterprises read the writing on the wall and move to protect themselves in case the company gets sold out from under them:
The board of Lee Enterprises, owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has acted to protect its executives in case the company is sold.
The board approved new agreements giving nine senior executives pay, stock compensation and benefits in case they are terminated after a change of control at Lee, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Some senior executives have had similar change-of-control protection since 2008, according to the company’s proxy filing last year.
“In 2015, Lee reviewed the company’s change-in-control agreements and made changes to better align them with general industry practices,” Lee spokesman Charles Arms said Friday in an email. “Lee is not considering placing itself for sale nor has Lee received a buyout offer.”
In the new agreements, CEO Mary Junck would receive compensation worth $5.6 million in a change of control. Chief Operating Officer Kevin Mowbray would receive $1.5 million, and other executives lesser amounts.
Only in corporate America are people at the top so handsomely rewarded for failure.